A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

March 4. 1917

The train was late. It was 10.45 when we arrived. 
I walked to the Hotel Cochran and called on Mrs. Charles H. Roberts. 
Had lunch with Capt. Albert Fletcher, Ordinance Dept. 
Called on Mrs. Roberts again at 3 p.m.
At her suggestion we went to the capitol and called on Congressman Sherman Burrows, from Manchester N.H. 
He has recentlt (sic.) inspected Camp Greene and had found conditions very bad there. He had not visited the Hospital however so I could get no real information as to what I might expect. 

We then called on Congressman Wasson from Nashua, N.H. 
He had also recentlt (sic.) inspected Camp Greene. His story was even more dismal than Burrows story. 
Mr. Burrows was much of a gentleman. Mr. Wasson was of a distinctly different type. 
He is a tall, large man, given to the habit of chewing tobacco. 
He sat in the usual swivel desk chair and directly in front of Mrs. Roberts. He pushed the cuspidor between Mrs. Roberts and himself, tipped back in his chair, spread his legs apart and began to talk. 
He was the picture of perfect comfort. 
Every now and them (sic.) he would expectorate a huge amount of tobacco juice, and each time he did it I expected to see Mrs. Roberts covered but never once did he miss the mark. 
If chewing tobacco is still a mark of distinction in Congress New Hampshire has reasons to feel proud. 

I was pleased to meet the secretary of this gentleman, Mr. Charles Wright of Plymouth N.H. an old friend. 

Went back to the hotel with Mrs. Roberts, had dinner with ler (sic.) and left at 9.30 p.m.
At 10.45 p.m. took the night train for Charlotte. 

From MS-397, Box 1, Folder 3. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

[There is a sizeable gap in Goodall’s diary in which no new entries appear between November 2017 and March 2018. There are, however, a number of other documents and correspondence in his diary papers that cover the period between these posts. To peruse them, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and request the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).]

March 3, 1918. Sunday

My orders were received on March 1st. but it was necessary to attend to various things and it was not until the 3rd. that I was able to wind up my affairs.


Left Boston the Federal Express for Washington at 7.48 p.m. It had been a very hard day. I had seen a lot of people and had telephoned incessantly.
As I walked to the station I met Mr. and Mrs. George B. Dexter. They had been nice enough to come and say good bye. When I went down to the train I found Sam. Guild and Col. Cummings waiting to see me off.

From MS-397, Box 1, Folder 3. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

Commissioned Major on Nov. 20, 1917.

During my interview with Major Janeway, at Washington, I was requested to select four assistants. The men must be Hospital graduates and men that were not already in the service. After considerable trouble I finally found the following men –

Dr. Louis McQuade, first assistant.
Dr Richard Eustis.
Dr. George Papen.
Dr. Warren Pettingill.

The five of us constituted a medical unit.
Similar surgical units were organized.

At this time Dr. Franklin Balch had organized a surgical unit and it was understood that we would combine.
However as time went on, and once ready we were eager to get into active service, there was no immediate prospect of getting away.

Dr. Fred Lund had organized a similar unit and hed been promised early service. After talking things over with Dr. Balch I decided to go with Dr. Lund.

It was March 1st.1918 when I finally entered active service. During these three months there was the greatest feeling of unrest. We were expecting the call any day, it was difficult to make appointments in advance, practice was self-demoralized.

From MS-397, Box 1, Folder 2. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

The first call for active service came on Oct. 8, 1917, when I received the following letters from my personal friend, Major Janeway.

Up to this time there had been no urgent demand for doctors and while I was ready to enlist when necessary there was the feeling of responsibility to my patients.

More than this, being beyond the draft age, I wanted to serve in the capacity that. I believed most suited to my training. Col. Logan had asked me to go with the 26th. Division but I felt that the work that he offered was not the kind of work that I had been doing. My one regret now is that I did not go with them.

There were two things that I tried to insist upon, one was that I should not be sent to an officers training camp at home, the other was that I should not serve in this country but should be sent directly to France.

After receiving the letter that Major Longcope wrote on Oct. 26th. I went to Washington for a personal interview and he assured me that men were wanted who were willing to go to France without service in this country and that I would not be called until such time.

However the “Flu” epidemic broke out, men were needed and I was ordered to service in this country.

From MS-397, Box 1, Folder 2. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

On Aug. 4, 1917 entered the service as Contract Surgeon, doing special Tuberculosis work.

All the troop ready for oversea duty were examined.
The time allowed for an examination was three minutes to a man.
If signs were found in the chest two Physicians had to examine before the man could be rejected.

This work was done at the Cadet Armory, the Armory on Commonwealth Ave. in Medford and Winthrop. At the fort at Hull. In the camps at Framingham, Somerville and at the other places where troop were quartered such as the Wentworth Institute.

From MS-397, Box 1, Folder 2. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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A Dartmouth Doctor in WWI

Introduction

Dr. Harry Goodall answered the same call to arms that many men did in the first World War, but his diary offers a perspective unlike that encountered in the letters or journals of the many Dartmouth students who enlisted as soldiers. A member of Dartmouth’s Class of 1898, Dr. Goodall went on to receive his medical degree from Harvard and then worked in medicine for fifteen years, including time at Massachusetts General Hospital and a few years teaching at Harvard Medical School.

By the time he joined the United States Army in August 1917, Dr. Goodall had twenty years of experience out of Dartmouth College. Dr. Goodall had enlisted on the condition that he would serve abroad, before agreeing to go initially to Georgia to address the flu epidemic that had broken out in Camp Greene. He remained stateside longer than he had hoped, also serving for a time in Camp Macon, before finally making it to France, where he was again instrumental in combating the flu epidemic that was devastating Allied troops. Dr. Goodall served until March 1919 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in August 1921.

Full of strong opinions and a dry sense of humor, Dr. Goodall minces no words in his diary when discussing the people or hospital practices he finds incompetent and unacceptable; his intense personality permeates every one of his humorous, dramatic, or passionate stories.

Dr. Goodall’s diary also benefits from hindsight, as he returns to his diary over the years following the work and begins to gather both his observations and other documents and records into the early stages of a memoir that was never published. Dr. Goodall’s writing is both more objective, because of time and distance from the events themselves, and less, as his motives influence the way he reframes or chooses to tell certain stories.

For approximately the next six months, we will post daily entries from Dr. Goodall’s diary several times a week. These entries have been selected and abridged to provide an engaging and coherent glimpse into the life of a Dartmouth alumnus at war. To read the diary in its entirety, visit Rauner Special Collections Library and ask to see the Harry Goodall papers (MS-397).

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